by Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri
In the kingdom of Valencia a great sinner resolved to become a Mohammedan, hoping thereby to escape from the arm of justice. On his way to the ship's landing where he meant to set sail, he entered a church in which the Jesuit Jerome Lopes was preaching on the Mercy of God. Touched by the sermon, the poor sinner went to confession to the missioner. When asked if he had practiced any special devotion to which this great grace might be attributed he replied: "I simply prayed to Mary every day not to abandon me."
In a certain hospital the same Father met a sinner who had not gone to confession for fifty-five years. He had however practiced this little devotion: whenever he passed her picture he greeted the Mother of God and asked her for a happy end.
He then related: one day while fighting with my enemy my dagger broke. I turned to Mary and cried out: "Alas, alas, now I shall be killed and eternally lost; Mother of sinners, help me." Scarcely had he said this when he found himself in safety. The poor sinner made a general confession and died full of confidence" (Patrign. Menol. 2 Feb.).